The 32-acre project, called 29 Gateway, may include restaurants, retail space, an apartment complex, offices and a Montessori school, according to planning documents.
Leander City Council approved a zoning change for the project July 1 in a 4-3 vote. The approval included a minimum of 50,000 square feet of commercial development in the first phase and for city staff to work with the developer to agree on a minimum total commercial square footage. City staff will bring the project back to the council for reconsideration if they cannot come to an agreement.
The change will allow for a 32-acre planned unit development with general commercial and multifamily zoning. It was previously zoned for single-family rural. City Council approved the first reading June 17 in a 4-3 vote. Council members Kathryn Pantalion-Parker, Jason Shaw and Chris Czernek voted against the motion at both meetings.
Shaw said the city is settling on this piece of property and thinks this will haunt a future council that will make decisions on this property.
"The red flags are saying this is going to be a bad project for Leander," Shaw said.
Czernek said he believes the development should bring more to the land with the high-density zoning.
"For us to develop that corner and to give up that piece with the current project that's there ... to make an exception for something that's outside of our comprehensive plan—I think that is something that needs to be considered," Czernek said.
The 29 Gateway development was first presented to City Council May 20, but council voted to postpone the agenda item pending proposed revisions. Changes included increasing the multifamily unit count from 300 to 321, increasing the garage requirements to one garage per unit and increasing the building height from 60 to 75 feet.
Eric Davis, who represented the developer, previously said to council that the development will start with 40,000 square feet of commercial space before multifamily construction, which will be a high-end complex with a rooftop pool.